Audibles with Jason Scarborough is back this week with episode 6 of season 3. This week’s guest: Coolidge Ball. Fifty years ago, Coolidge Ball broke down walls at the University of Mississippi, becoming the first black student-athlete at Ole Miss.
On May 15th, 2021, Ole Miss’ first black student-athlete was celebrated with a life-size, bronze likeness erected in the north plaza of SJB Pavilion by Mississippi artist Dr. Kim Sessums (also a former guest of the show) On August 6th, 1970, Ball signed the Rebels’ last available basketball scholarship for that season.
The Indianola, Mississippi, native was recruited by other schools such as Arizona State, Northwestern and New Mexico State, but his decision to attend Ole Miss opened the door for future black student-athletes to make their way to the Oxford campus to wear the Red and Blue, not just in basketball, but other sports as well.
Ball’s ground-breaking career at Ole Miss saw him earn first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors from the league coaches in 1972 and 1973. He also earned second-team All-SEC honors from the Associated Press in 1972 and 1973, was selected to the United Press International third team during all three of his varsity seasons (1972-73-74) and made the All-SEC Freshman team in 1970-71.
A 1975 graduate of the University of Mississippi, Ball was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Ole Miss Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991 and was a member of the SEC Basketball Legends Class of 2005. When the University of Mississippi celebrated its “First 100 Years of Ole Miss Basketball” in 2009, it came as no surprise when Ball was selected to the All-Century Team.
Here is a sneak peek of our conversation with Coolidge, coming up this weekend on the Audibles network of TV stations! Take a listen!